From Pastor Brady

Greetings Church,

Mark’s fast paced story of Jesus continues this week in Mark 1:14-39. Take a few minutes to read through the passage with your group or family. Pastor Mark pointed out that this passage shows Jesus Preaching (1:14-20), Jesus Proving (1:21-34), and Jesus Misunderstood (1:35-39).

1. Read Mark 1:14-15. This is one of the most important summary statements in the book. Jesus’ message was one of repentance and belief. To repent is to turn from self and sin. To believe is to be convinced of something in a life changing way.

Why are repentance and belief both so necessary for salvation? Reminder: we need to do more than just turn away FROM something. We need to turn TOWARD someone.

What would repentance be without belief? What would belief be without repentance?

For families: Help your children to understand repentance and belief. There’s a great scene at the beginning of the Disney movie Aladdin where Aladdin and Princess Jasmine are running from the guards and in order to escape Princess Jasmine must place her trust in Aladdin as they jump from the rooftop to safety and escape. He actually says to her “Do you trust me?” This little scene illustrates repentance (running from the guards) and belief (she must trust Aladdin in order to escape punishment).

2. Jesus is telling them to turn toward and believe in God’s Kingdom. For Israelites, the Kingdom of God was a future physical restoration of God’s rule over the nations through Israel. But Mark shows us Jesus teaching about a spiritual kingdom (Mark will use the phrase Kingdom of God 14 times). God’s Kingdom today is His rule in the hearts of people.

What kingdom do you need to turn from today? How is your personal kingdom in conflict with the Kingdom of Jesus?

3. In Mark 1:16-20, Jesus calls his disciples. How did these men respond? How is this a model for how all of us should respond?

What might God be calling you to “leave behind” in order to be a fully devoted follower of Him? Reminder: this may not be a physical possession or life situation (although it could be); it might be a mindset or lifestyle or identity that you are embracing.

For families: Help your children to see that God uses ordinary people to do His work. Ask you kids to think through some “ordinary” things they do every day that they could use to love and serve others.

4. In Mark 1:21-34 we see Jesus engaged in serious spiritual warfare. He is casting out demons and healing people. Most of us do not literally face demon possession, but we are still engaged in a spiritual war with our Enemy who seeks to seduce us with the World’s system of selfishness and pride.

In 1 Peter 5, we are told that Satan is a roaring lion seeking to devour us.

Where and when have you seen Satan attack your faith? Your mindset? Your desires?

How does faith in Christ’s work on the cross allow us to fight of Satan’s lies and accusations?

5. Pastor Mark used Mark 1:35-39 to show us that Jesus was misunderstood. The disciples wanted to see Jesus do more miracles in the town of Capernaum. There are also a couple times in these passages where Jesus tells the demons not to tell anyone that who He is (v.25,34).

The problem is that both the disciples and the demons wanted to present a Messiah that only went around healing and fixing physical problems. But that was not Jesus’ final mission. His final mission was the cross- salvation from sin and death. Jesus didn’t come to give us a better life, He came to give us new life.

In what ways have we tried to turn Jesus into our own personal genie at times?

What is the difference between seeing Jesus as your example or your “problem solver” and seeing Him as your substitute?

Fighter Verse Questions for Groups and Families.

Fighter Verse: Mark 1:17 “And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men’.”

1. What does Jesus mean when he says “fishers of men?” How do you think these literal fishermen would have understood His call?

2. Mature disciples are those who make other disciples. Are you a maturing disciple?

Colossians 1:28-29. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

Who are you discipling? Admonishing? Teaching? Do you “strenuously contend” for this?

3. How is your small group an environment for disciple –making? How can you disciple each other? How can your small group or family be “fishers of men?”

4. If starting today you were going to be a “Fisher of men,” what in your life would need to change?

For families: Yes, even children can tell others about Jesus. Help your children to think through ways they can share Jesus. As you teach them about sharing in general, help them to see that sharing kindness, love and their faith are the most important things to share.